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Old March 24, 2011, 04:29 PM   #1
Mauser Rat
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Barrel slugging

Another of my seemingly endless list of questions now that I have started casting:

Everyone in this forum seems to have slugged their barrels and I can see how important that information is to boolit casters. I tried doing a search of this forum for instructions on how to slug the barrels of my collection but could not find one. Can anybody point me to some instructions? Can any barrel be slugged regardless of firearm type such as rifle vs handgun, wheel gun vs semi? I am aware that people slug different parts of the barrel but not why they chose one part over another? I'm willing to pay the usual fees for good information.

Why is it that every time I learn something new it brings up a hundred questions?
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Old March 24, 2011, 05:24 PM   #2
mikld
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http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_2-1_Measu...Dimensions.htm A bit of good info here. Also youtube "how to slug a barrel"...
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Old March 25, 2011, 01:56 AM   #3
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mikld,

My thanks to you again. That article is just the ticket for me. Enough detail to really help and spelled out so that all you have to do is have it open while you work.

I should have done all of this before I got the first molds. I just bought molds the same size as the loads I had been purchasing and loading with no leading problems. But this is doing it right and it looks like a sort of enjoyable project for a guy who thinks kindly of his "little friends" and likes spending time with them.

Sorry but the Yugoslav M48 just reminded me he ain't so little and he barks with that really satisfying WHUMP.

Last edited by Mauser Rat; March 25, 2011 at 02:04 AM. Reason: M48
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Old March 25, 2011, 02:32 AM   #4
FrankenMauser
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That link only describes what the author calls an "impact slug". The 'impact slug' will provide different information, depending on the chambering and particular rifle in question. Sometimes, it may only provide throat diameter; and sometimes it may also show some rifling and bore diameter; but it will never show anything in the middle of the bore. That method is not as common as actually driving a lead slug all the way through the bore.

Although I agree that it is theoretically more important to know the bore size of the chamber end, it can be just as important to know if there are any constrictions or loose spots in the bore.

Only by slugging the full bore, in addition to the throat, will you know what the barrel really has to offer.

For example:
I have a .380 Auto pistol that has a .358"x359" bore diameter (it's oblong). However, it has a 1" long loose spot in the middle of the bore, large enough for a .358" slug to 'fall through' the loose spot. Knowing that I have the loose spot forces me to load only hollow base bullets, to help avoid leading. (I don't know just how large the diameter is at the loose spot, I just know that it's bigger than .358"x.359", but hollow base bullets eliminate leading.)

I also have a .30-40 Krag that I recently slugged in three different ways (using soft lead .315" wadcutters):
The throat measured what I view as an acceptable .309" diameter.
However, the bore has both loose, and tight spots. I don't know how big, or small they are... but now I know they're there. I could feel them, as I pushed the slugs through the bore.
And... the muzzle/crown is severely worn. In less than 0.5", the bore tapers from 0.310" to 0.314", before the crown. (More of a funnel now, I suppose.)

Based on that information from the Krag, I have decided to continue shooting jacketed bullets, but I do keep a close eye on performance. Right now, .308" bullets seem to obturate enough to make up for the .309" throat, and the 'funnel' crown doesn't seem to be affecting accuracy negatively.

For most rifles, all that matters is the throat/leade.
For handguns, however, the lower average velocities allow more bullet choices and adaptation, should an odd bore be found (like my .380).

I've never met a firearm that couldn't be slugged.
(I'm not including muzzle loading weapons here. I don't consider them firearms. Some can be slugged. Some cannot.)
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Old March 26, 2011, 12:14 PM   #5
mikld
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Just re-read the article and saw a few different ways to find deminsions; slugging the bbl. with a soft lead slug, slugging the breach end, slugging the throat, how to make sulphur castings for muzzle end and chamber deminsions, and how to make cerrosafe castings of the muzzle and chamber. Author talks about full barrel slugging to find constrictions, too. Sounds like more than one method to me...
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